Tag Archives: California Governor Gavin Newsom

Newsom calls for more aggressive climate action

Oak Fire forecast for July 28 2022

CalMatters, by Emily Hoeven, July 25, 2022

As the largest wildfire of the year rages across California, Gov. Gavin Newsom is doubling down on an aggressive strategy to combat climate change — one that also appears to involve boosting his national profile.

Newsom on Saturday proclaimed a state of emergency in Mariposa County due to the Oak Fire near Yosemite National Park, which since igniting on Friday has burned through more than 15,600 acres of bone-dry fuel and was 0% contained as of Sunday night, according to Cal Fire.

California has secured federal support to help defray the costs of battling the blaze, which as of Sunday was being attacked by nearly 2,100 firefighters. More than 6,000 people were under evacuation orders, nearly 3,000 PG&E customers were facing power outages and 15 structures had been destroyed or damaged with thousands more threatened.

  • The Oak Fire marks the end of California’s relatively calm start to the fire season: Fewer than 34,000 acres burned statewide from Jan. 1 to July 19, the lowest total during that time period since 2009, according to a Mercury News analysis.
  • Isaac Sanchez, a Cal Fire battalion chief“People shouldn’t get complacent. If this was a baseball game, we are in the middle innings. There are still a lot of dry months to come.”

Newsom alluded to complacency at the national level in a Saturday letter to President Joe Biden, in which he slammed “uncooperative Republicans and a lone Democrat from a coal-producing state” (West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin) for holding “hostage” parts of Biden’s climate agenda.

  • Newsom added: “We want to reiterate our commitment to … finding new ways to work around those Senators who chose to keep their head in the sand instead of confronting the crisis we are all facing together. Partnering with California and other leading states and cities is now essential.”

As a proof point of what Newsom described as California’s world-leading action on climate, he cited a blueprint — released just the day before — to make the state’s ambitious climate plans even more aggressive. Continue reading Newsom calls for more aggressive climate action

Gavin Newsom’s plan to save the US Constitution by trolling the Supreme Court

A new California gun law should force the Supreme Court to confront the enormity of its worst decision in decades.

VOX, By Ian Millhiser Jul 25, 2022

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference where he signed SB 1327 into law, in Los Angeles on July 22. David McNew/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a law on Friday modeled after Texas’s anti-abortion law SB 8 — the Texas law which uses private lawsuits to target abortion providers. But there’s one important difference between the two state laws: California’s new law sends these litigious bounty hunters against gun dealers who sell certain guns, including assault weapons and weapons with no serial number.

It’s a high-stakes gambit that will test whether the Supreme Court actually meant what it said in Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson (2021), which held that because of SB 8’s unique style of enforcement, it was immune from meaningful judicial review — and thus would take effect despite very strong arguments that the law was unconstitutional at the time.

Shortly after Jackson was decided last December, Newsom announced that he disagrees with the Supreme Court’s conclusion that states can dodge judicial review of unconstitutional laws. But Newsom also said that, if the Court’s Republican-appointed majority would give this power to states, then he would use it to limit access to firearms.

Indeed, California’s new gun law, known as SB 1327, is explicit that the new law’s fate is tied to SB 8’s. SB 1327 provides that its SB 8-like provisions “shall become inoperative” if SB 8 is struck down “in its entirety by a final decision of the United States Supreme Court or Texas Supreme Court.”

The state of California, in other words, appears to be trolling the Supreme Court. SB 1327 should force the justices to either overrule Jackson and admit that they were wrong to let states evade the Constitution, or give California’s new gun ban the same immunity from judicial scrutiny that five justices gave SB 8.

That is, of course, assuming that this increasingly political Supreme Court cares about consistency. Continue reading Gavin Newsom’s plan to save the US Constitution by trolling the Supreme Court

Gavin Newsom’s message for Democrats in 2022: Don’t be afraid of a fight.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in Del Mar, Calif., on Feb. 18.(Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune/AP)

Gavin Newsom isn’t afraid of a fight. Democrats shouldn’t be afraid to emulate that.

The Washington Post, By Jonathan Capehart, February 22, 2022

California Gov. Gavin Newsom isn’t afraid of y’all. And by “y’all,” I mean the gun manufacturers and Republican culture warriors who have gotten quite used to the defensive crouch of Newsom’s fellow Democrats.

Newsom’s unabashed assertiveness came through when I interviewed him last week at the Del Mar Fairgrounds outside San Diego, where he announced a bill making good on his promise in December to use the model of Texas’s recent antiabortion law — which the Supreme Court declined to block — to go after gunmakers in his own state.

“The Texas abortion law is an abomination. It’s outrageous what the Supreme Court did, but they did it. They opened a door that is going to put women’s lives at risk. And we’re going to go through that same door to save people’s lives,” Newsom said. The California bill would award $10,000 and attorney’s fees to private citizens who turn in people illegally selling, manufacturing or distributing assault weapons or ghost guns.

“We’re going after these guys. We’re putting them on the defensive. I don’t hate gun owners. I don’t hate guns. I hate violence,” Newsom said. “I can’t take it anymore. No one can take it anymore. How many times have I been to a damn press conference where you heard the same words? And the words are no longer ‘thoughts and prayers.’ It’s that ‘I’m sick and tired of saying “thoughts and prayers.”’

Anticipating the inevitable challenges to the legislation, Newsom made clear that he isn’t afraid of the fight to come. “There’s no principled way the U.S. Supreme Court cannot uphold California’s law on assault weapons and ghost guns,” Newsom said. “So we’re calling the question, and we’re moving aggressively … and we’re getting serious about this in a way we haven’t in the past.”

Newsom’s willingness to fight Republicans on their turf is exactly what Democrats need to replicate. Stand strong in your beliefs and fight for them, even if it makes friends nervous and angers the other side. The governor has always operated this way.

That’s why I couldn’t resist asking Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, what he thought about the overwhelming recall last week of three of that city’s school board members who had largely focused on stripping schools of “objectionable” names. He wasn’t the least bit surprised by what happened. Acting on your passions and beliefs must still be in line with why folks put you in office. “If you are focused more on renaming things than focusing on fundamentally getting to the nuts and bolts of the job that you are hired to do, that’s a problem,” Newsom said.

But because this happened in the bluest of cities in the bluest of states, is it a warning sign to Democrats about the excesses of that dreaded term, “wokeness”? Nope, Newsom said: “I don’t know how one defines it. I know how one politicizes it.”

By today’s standards, Newsom could have been accused of “wokeness” in 2004 when, as mayor, he issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of state and federal law. Everyone was angry with him, especially Democrats who were furious he willfully waded into the latest front of the culture war during a presidential election year. But Newsom never wavered then and has no regrets now.

“Is that the definition of wokeness? I thought it was the right thing to do,” Newsom said. The 2015 Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry validated his moral conviction and political courage. And he’s urging his fellow Democrats to be similarly bold about the big issues of today.

“We all just need to … recognize what we’re up against, which is mishegoss, which is full-time propaganda coming from a disciplined far extreme right that will continue to racially prime, continue to promote these cultural wars in any way, shape or form,” Newsom said. “I mean, they’re banning books.”

In the face of this, the governor who successfully crushed a Republican-led recall effort against him last year said that Democrats must “address these things a little bit more head on, a little bit more forcefully.” That means fighting back on the terms set by Republicans.

More Democrats need to speak this way. It tells Republicans they aren’t as feared as they once were. More importantly, it shows the base that Democrats will no longer cower the way to which we’ve become accustomed. They are willing to fight like Republicans for what they believe in.

“That’s what we’re doing on guns,” Newsom said. “We’re leaning in. And, again, I’m not naive to their success. But it’s an old playbook here. And so let’s not all act surprised as Democrats and victims around this.”

Recall vote – Solano showed least support for Newsom among Bay Area counties

[BenIndy editor: For updated results  check out Solano County Registrar of Voter’s Sept 14 election results here.  As of Thursday Sept 16, breakdown results by City and precinct are not yet available. 12,500 to 23,000 ballots are received but not yet processed, mostly vote-by-mail ballots.  Unofficial results as of Sept 16 show 2/3 voting NO by mail and 2/3 of a much smaller number voting YES on election day.  As of today, 111,000+ voted by mail, and only 15,000+ voted on election day.  – R. S.]

Solano was the Bay Area county most receptive to the Newsom recall

A sign against the recall is posted behind California Gov. Gavin Newsom as he talks with volunteers who are phone banking against the recall at Manny's on Aug. 13, 2021, in San Francisco. California Gov. Gavin Newsom kicked off his "Say No" to recall campaign as he prepares to face a recall election on Sept. 14.
A sign against the recall is posted behind California Gov. Gavin Newsom as he talks with volunteers who are phone banking against the recall at Manny’s on Aug. 13, 2021, in San Francisco. California Gov. Gavin Newsom kicked off his “Say No” to recall campaign as he prepares to face a recall election on Sept. 14. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
SFGATE, by Joshua Bote, September 15, 2021

The Bay Area overwhelmingly opposed the Gavin Newsom recall, with San Francisco, Marin and Alameda counties all rejecting the recall at a rate of more than 80%.

But while almost every county in the Bay Area is currently reporting more than 70% of voters opposed to the recall, one Bay Area county flirted with the idea of a recall more than any other: Solano County.

With more than 77% of votes tabulated as of Wednesday afternoon, 64.3% of Solano voters rejected the recall, according to data from CNN and the Associated Press. That’s six percentage points less than the Bay Area county with the second-smallest percentage of Newsom supporters, Napa County, where the infamous French Laundry incident that galvanized the recall effort took place.

63.9% of voters in the state voted against the recall.

Historically, Solano has proven to be among the more conservative-leaning of the Bay Area counties. But more interestingly, Solano County’s voting numbers mirror the state overall better than any other county in the Bay Area, and arguably, in the state in general.

In 2020, about 64% of Solano County voters sided with President Joe Biden — nearly the same exact percentage of California’s voters.

Same goes for the 2016 presidential election, when 61% of Solano County voters sided with Hillary Clinton, again nearly identical to the state’s vote total.

So while Solano County may lean more conservative than the rest of the Bay Area, it’s also something of a bellwether county in California — at least for these key elections.